Jewish Newton High School Students Stand Up to Anti-Israel Curriculum

Former Newton South High School student Joshua Avraham Erani (may his memory be a blessing) stands up to the Newton School Committee to publicly voice his disgust with the politically partisan, anti-Israel-slanted curriculum taught in his history classes — March 25, 2019. (NewTV)

Updated April 23, 2020.

For years, residents of Newton, Massachusetts, had raised deep concern over anti-Israel, anti-American, and pro-Islamic curriculum being taught in the local public high schools, but were stonewalled and dismissed by the school committee as well as Boston-area Jewish leadership. One of the reasons the schools and the community gave for ignoring concerns was that no students had come forward to formally or publicly complain.

Finally, at a March 25, 2019, meeting of the Newton School Committee, two Jewish Newton South High School students, Joshua Avraham Erani and Joseph Rasamat of the B’nai B’rith Youth Organization’s fraternity AZA (אצא), came forward to publicly voice their disgust with the partisan and biased curriculum which they had been taught in their history classes. Some of the more shocking instances of anti-Israel bias mentioned by the students included the showing of a Qatari-funded short film entitled Ismail at a May 2, 2018, “Middle East Day” in which Israeli soldiers are shown leading a column of Palestinian Arabs into exile, and where the Palestinian protagonist is smashed on the head with his own suitcase by one of the soldiers. They also complained that other educational materials funded by the government of Qatar — a main funder of Hamas — had been used, not to mention propaganda maps of “Palestine” produced by the terrorist PLO but presented as objective.

Some of the two students’ anger was addressed to Newton’s Superintendent of Schools, David Fleishman, who had led efforts to discredit those concerned over the curriculum, but they were declined a reply.

This testimony came on the heels of Dechter et al. v. Newton School Committee, the lawsuit filed by Newton taxpayers, challenging the legality of the concerning curriculum.

Sorrowfully, on April 19, 2020, just over a year after this courageous speech, Joshua Avraham Erani, aged only 18, was killed in a freak weather-related car accident. May his fearlessness and memory be a blessing to the world, and may G-d comfort his loved ones. You can read his obituary here.

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